$3 Trillion Dollars in U.S. Health Spending is Projected
Healthcare spending will
top $2.8 trillion in the US by 2011, driving an even larger
chunk of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) than
previously forecast, government actuaries reported on March
may reach 17% of GDP by 2011, up from 13.2% in 2000,
according to actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS). Said another way, annual healthcare
spending by 2011 will rise to $9,216 per person in America --
double the amount spent per capita in 2000.
CMS said its new outlook
for healthcare spending, updated annually, reflects higher
projected growth in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures and
more sluggish private healthcare spending.
spending will continue to grow at double-digit rates, the rate
of spending growth is expected to slow to 10.1% for 2011 from
17.3% for 2000. Actuaries say the slowdown reflects
cost-cutting tactics, such as tiered co-payments, and the
introduction of fewer blockbuster drugs.
"Still, we project
that between 2001 - 2011 period, drug spending growth will
exceed total health spending growth by almost five percentage
points per year on average," according to Stephen Heffler
and colleagues from CMS's Office of the Actuary. Drug
spending will account for 14.7% of total health expenditures by 2011, compared
with 9.4% in 2000, they said.
Public-health spending is
expected to rise more sharply than previously projected
largely due to the effect of higher provider payments and new
benefits mandated as part of the 2000 Medicare, Medicaid and
SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act. Medicare
spending may rise 9.5% in 2001, outpacing the rate of growth
projected last year by 2.5% points.
Growth in private-sector
spending is expected to be more sluggish than last year's
projections because of a weaker-than-anticipated outlook for
the nation's economy. Still, actuaries are predicting 8.9%
growth for 2001 and 9.4% for 2002, compared with 6.9% for
Affairs March/April 2002;21:207-217
For the first time in
almost a decade, according to federal health economists,
health expenditures outpaced the growth of the economy. That
is one amazing statement.
The US currently spends
about 1.5 trillion dollars for healthcare, and the projections
are that it will double in less than ten years.
Like the late Senator
Everett Dirksen from Illinois was fond of saying when he was
referring to the Defense Department budget, a billion dollars
here, a billion dollars there and before you know it you are
talking real money.
Well we are talking a
lot more than a few billion dollars. How about something like
a nearly 1.5 trillion dollars, an amount that is even beyond
Bill Gates level.
The sad tragedy is that
we are spending all of this money on disease management
focused on drugs and surgery and our return on this investment
is profoundly poor.
pharmacies filled 3 billion prescriptions in 2000.
We are not achieving the
high levels of health that we could be. More and more people
do not have the energy they need to get through the day while
millions of others are suffering with painful crippling
diseases because they have violated basic health principles.
Many of their choices
were made out of ignorance and it is my vision and passion to
make a dent in this mess. I hope to have many of you help with
the process as this web site becomes a major force for good
and the alleviation of disease and suffering.